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Monday, March 3, 2008

Chowdown in Cowtown - Part 1

I hate Calgary.

Not the city, but the hockey team. Granted, in this hockey-crazed country we live in, that is often feels like one and the same. So when Janine said we were going to visit our friends Parm and Mike in Calgary, I wanted to put on my Stan Smyl jersey, my Trevor Linden cap and listen to my tape of Jim Robson calling game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final.

Actually, I was really looking forward to the trip. Parm and Mike are both food lovers so I knew we'd be able to enjoy some of Calgary's finest dining. I'd not been to Calgary in a long time ... 20 years in fact ... and the only dining I did then was at McD's while the Trans-Canadian made a brief stop. My usual source of food info (eGullet.org) had very little Calgary advice, so Janine and I were left to our own devices until our hosts were done with work.

Snooping out food is something we do quite well. And so it was we found ourselves walking down Stephen Avenue (8th Ave SW), a Calgarian version of Robson Street. Lots of bars, restaurants, shopping ... and no cars! After asking the advice of the staff at The Cellar we settled in for an afternoon at The Tribune.

This is a long beautiful room with high tinned ceilings, brick walls, and an amazing onyx bar at the far end. As it was the middle of the afternoon, the full dinner menu was not available but the smaller appetizer menu was more than serviceable. Some cured Alberta beef, some tapenade, and a couple glasses of grape helped pass the time nicely. Other items were of the charcuterie - cheese plate variety. Had we not already had dinner plans more would have been sampled. The lesson learned? Always trust the wine people.

2 comments:

  1. I was recently in Calgary - and I was blown away by the high prices. At Belgon(sic) - a converted bank space with a pubby feel - entree's were mid 30's to low 40's. There was a 'special' fingerling potato salad - for $20. Fuck! For twenty bucks - there better be more fingerling going on than just potatoes.

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  2. Yeah, but it costs them a lot to bring those potatoes in from BC while the ground is still frozen in Calgary.

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